We all know that Capital Campaigns are a lot of work! You will need some support. Successful Campaigns rely on great leadership and volunteers to extend the reach into your current and prospective donor lists. Getting the right people in the right position will help move your Campaign towards its goal in an efficient manner. How do you find the right people? Each organization has a unique garden of donors. Your volunteers are also unique. It’s important to recognize their differences and how to best place them on your team. Knowing this will add to your “gardening tool kit” and help move your fundraising along.
Who are the players?
Campaign leadership and volunteers consist of a range of roles. Making sure you find the right people for each role will be immensely helpful. Connectors and Sales type people make the best fundraising volunteers, so consider this while determining who to recruit for your Chairs and Cabinet.
Honorary Chairs or Committee are the big names in the community, or in the culture of the organization, who operate in a high level and are capable of a significant amount of leadership in the campaign. Expect them to make a gift, but not to be active fundraisers. Their influence is a Maven, or someone whose passion, knowledge, and expertise is their gift to your campaign.
Campaign Chairs are your “face of the campaign” and should be able to help you with high level asks, campaign strategy, and be available for regular meetings. Engaged and connected Chairs are key to really keeping things moving forward. Look for those whose networks will be inclined to your project.
Cabinet Members are those who will help extend your ability to make face to face asks. These are volunteers who are connected to your current and prospective donor list at the mid-range gift size. Remember what your capacity is and what you’re willing to manage. Each member should average of 5 – 10 asks. They should also be able to make a personal gift.
Endorsement Council Members are those who are supportive of the project but are unable to help raise money. They help answer the question “is a good idea?” These people may have a conflict of interests and may or may not donate, but have experience or relation to the project.
Diversity – how does diversity come into play? Look at what it means to your organization. Funders are wanting to see more diversity and equity in the key volunteers for projects as well as in the organization itself.
Determine who should be identified to which role. Have a job description and be upfront. Tell them what you expect from them. Busy volunteers who are connected, deserve to know what they are committing to (e.g. be there once a month, ask x amount of times).
Training & Supporting
One of the main reasons volunteers are reluctant to make asks is because they feel like they might not be able to answer questions. Give them all the tools for success. Provide a binder with all the information on the campaign – campaign materials, pledge cards, brochure – and distribute any videos that will be used to share the story with their donor prospects. Having all the materials helps give them confidence. Review any new strategies and bring them in to discuss new prospects that emerge. (Face-to-face giving is ten times higher than receiving information in the mail.) Review the prospect list with them to find those who they are comfortable with working with. Just as one on one asks are most effective, working one on one with your Campaign Volunteers is also the best way to customize and strategize the asks they will be making.
Determine the communication point person from your staff so volunteers will know who they should expect to hear from and to whom they should direct their questions. Communicate with your Campaign Volunteers regularly to keep them in the loop on progress and any relevant developments. Share successes with the group so they will be inspired.
Together, with your enthusiastic, engaged, and well-trained cadre of Campaign Volunteers, the success of your Campaign will result in lasting relationships as well as a new building, additional programming, or an endowment.